Friday, July 25, 2014

Balance between keeping house and parenting + moving

As I have mentioned, things really fell apart while I was teaching last year. My husband rarely got home before Felicia and I went to bed Monday-Friday. I was essentially a single mother after picking up the babe from childcare. I got way, way behind on housework. Mounds of laundry, a constantly messy kitchen, neglected bathrooms...not a pretty sight!

Yesterday I decided to use Felicia's nap time to deep clean one of our bathrooms. It was long overdue. I cleaned the drain in the tub (how the heck did all that hair get in there? GROSS!) and cleaned the sink drain, too, which is now good as new. Did some purging of empty shampoo bottles, products that I no longer use, and random things that somehow accumulated under the sink. I cleaned the toilet and bleached the tub and sink. It is a delightful room now. I am tempted to take an epsom salt bath when I get the chance!

The trade-off of using nap time that way was that I didn't get to start dinner until Felicia had woken. She was not a happy camper while I was trying to cook, as she wanted 100% of my attention. I need to figure this out. Now that I am home I would like a clean home! I would have liked it before, but things had to be sacrificed in the name of survival. I am already finding that being home has many benefits (I can run laundry during the day, I can empty the dishwasher before 5:30pm, etc) but it is also frustrating that all of these projects are constantly in my face and I don't feel like I can get things done while Felicia is awake. I am in the process of trying to nail down a cleaning schedule that will work for me. But...

OUR HOUSING SITUATION IS STILL UP IN THE AIR. Some things that I know would make life easier have to wait for now and may have to for the foreseeable future. Like childproofing the kitchen cabinets and getting room darkening shades for bedroom windows (Felicia has a lot of trouble sleeping at night now that it is so bright out, but we don't want to invest in shades that might be useless after our move). Why do it here when we are moving at the end of September? It does drive me crazy that it takes approximately 1.2 seconds for the girl to completely empty all of the pots and pans while I am, say, checking on the quinoa that is cooking for dinner.

Speaking of moving in like 2 months...we don't currently have anywhere to go! Here is our situation:

  • We know we want to live near my husband's job
  • We haven't really gotten any house hunting done, due to my husband's job and the fact that...
  • We thought we'd have a family-owned rental house (my husband's parents own it and the renters [who are also family] hadn't paid rent in several YEARS until now, after they were told they had to leave July 1st...then they started paying and are staying put) to move into during house hunting but it recently fell through and...
  • We only have one working car that my husband takes every frickin' day to work unless Felicia and I drive him (which gives us over 3 hours of wasted time on the road just to drop him off/pick him up...very frustrating to spend 3 useless hours in the car just so I can pick up groceries during the day)
  • We have a second car that needs repairs but we know we only want it as long as we live this far from my husband's job (he will bike once we live close enough, leaving me with a car, THANK GOD!)
Right now our options seems to be:

1. Try to rush and find a house before the end of September, risking buying something we aren't really happy with but then living near his work and being able to just have one car and getting our home actually set up permanently.

2. Moving in to my husband's parents' basement, still requiring 2 cars since this is even further from my husband's office, but then not being locked into anther rental lease somewhere while we try to buy a house near his office. I don't really like this option!

3. Renting somewhere near my husband's office, month-to-month if possible, requiring only one car, and house hunting like it is going out of style so we can set up a permanent residence. 

My husband is not worried at all about this. I am the heck am I supposed to make things work being home when we don't even have a home in 2 months?! I never imagined being in an apartment at age thirty (and likely thirty-one...). The problem right now isn't is still TIME that is the issue. You would think that by now I know life doesn't go as planned. Ay yi yi...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Making it work for us

2 posts in 2 days?! What the what?!

I am going to try to document a little bit about the good (and maybe not-so-good) things as I learn to navigate being home full-time.

What is making it work for us right now:

1. I prep or start dinner during the babe's nap. She takes one nap nowadays (I know I am LUCKY!). Sometimes long (almost 3 hours yesterday!) sometimes short (35 minutes one day last week). Even if it is pretty short, I seem to have time to at least chop veggies/lay out ingredients for dinner. Right now, I have these sizzling on the stove:

We don't eat much tofu these days, but these are SO good and SO easy! I use coconut oil for cooking the tofu, add 2 cups cooked brown rice, a clove or 2 of minced garlic, and chopped green onion to ours, too. We use gluten free soy sauce to keep them friendly for my gf diet (which is going strong, although I have fallen off the endo diet...I love me some chocolate and red wine!). 

If my husband was home in time to entertain our daughter while I did dinner prep, I probably wouldn't spend her nap this way. But, it is what it is! He still gets home about 2 hours after Felicia and I eat (which is creeping up on Felicia's bed time). Cooking with a very "helpful" 18-month-old can be a challenge. So for now, this is the easiest way for me to get good, whole foods on the table for all three of us. 

2. We go to the park everyday before lunch as long as it is not raining or too hot (today was a too hot day so we've been a bit cooped up). Round trip, it is about an hour of walking/playing. It gets us out of our little 2 bedroom apartment and gets me some much needed exercise. Soon I'll have a running stroller, thanks to my sister who no longer needs the one she used with her kiddos. 

3. I try to read for at least 30 minutes a day after Felicia is down for the night. I just finished this one:

Which I really enjoyed! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants or has kids.

I just started this one last night:

I am in a book club with 4 girlfriends and this is the book we'll be meeting about in August. It seems a little fluffy so far, but I think it will be fun.

Monday, July 21, 2014

We took the plunge...

I sent my resignation to my new principal almost 2 weeks ago. My last official day of availability is this Wednesday, but I turned in my keys and school laptop this morning. I was glad that many of my co-workers happened to be at school today so I got to do some real farewells. I am excited for more time with my family, but also terrified about being unemployed. I have had a steady job for the last 14 years! Almost half of my 30 years! And, let's be honest...I will miss my co-workers, students, the excitement of the hustle and bustle of classes. And I already miss my lunch breaks, even though they were usually only 25 minutes long! Ha!

Things I have noticed about being home full-time so far (that I don't want to forget as I settle in to this "stay at home" thing):

1. I never get as much done as I hope. The world doesn't end, though, if that load of laundry doesn't get put away today.

2. I enjoy cooking REAL food! During school my cooking had to be quick I actually have enough time home before dinner to, like, make baked potatoes in the oven instead of the microwave and use fresh squeezed lemon juice in recipes instead of the bottled stuff. We have been eating so much better in the last few weeks!

3. It is amazing to spend all day with my kid. She is (mostly) a real joy to be around.

4. I have gotten more reading done in the last few weeks than I had January-June. Not because I have time during the day, but because I let myself have some time at night (instead of freaking out about getting everything ready for daycare, or fretting about lesson plans).

5. My husband and I have been fighting less. We have some damage control to take care of. Things got pretty bad after I returned to work in August, especially starting in January. Too much stress, not enough time together. Work was eating both of us. We were really suffering as a couple. Right now, the reduced income for our family seems a small price to pay for getting our marriage back on track.

6. I am tired at the end of the day, but not downright exhausted and beat. I am not tired to the point of tears.

Although my school keys and computer are returned, I still have a bit of work to do on my curriculum maps for the new teacher. I want things to be really easy for her/him. I want the art program to continue being successful. So, that is going to be looming large until I finish. My goal is before August 1, which is when the curriculum software archives for the new school year.

For now, I will leave you with a picture of the girl who gets all my time these days :)